The agreement on the Maritime boundary of Lebanon and the Zionist entity ; Opportunity or threat?

Negotiations between the Zionist entity and Lebanon, which are in a state of war, have failed many times since its inception in ۲۰۲۰; But in recent times, they followed these talks with more emphasis and after intense negotiations, the two sides finally reached an agreement on determining the maritime boundaries.
7 December 2022
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Zeinab Chaldavi

Negotiations between the Zionist entity and Lebanon, which are in a state of war, have failed many times since its inception in 2020; But in recent times, they followed these talks with more emphasis and after intense negotiations, the two sides finally reached an agreement on determining the maritime boundaries. The agreement is likely due to the prospect that both sides have in mind to earn more from potential gas fields in the Mediterranean.

However, this agreement does not include all the demands of Lebanon and the Zionist entity. But anyway, the Qana gas field will be completely under the control of Lebanon according to the terms of this agreement. The Zionist entity aimed to consider the Qana gas field as a common field between itself and Lebanon and take full ownership of its field. Nevertheless, the Zionist entity could not withdraw from the Qana gas field and Lebanon also needs a long time for exploration and extraction, it accepted the division in the exclusive economic zone.

Also, the beginning of maritime border lines from Rosh HaNikra Grottoes (the border of occupied Palestine and Lebanon) with an angle of 45 to the north, which was known as the Hof line. This also caused a difference of opinion between the two parties and finally Lebanon's opinion to change was accepted.

The prohibition of some of the world's major oil companies, such as Total, by the Zionist regime to operate in Lebanese waters is another matter of dispute. This problem is being solved with the proposal of Seyed Hassan Nasrallah to replace other big companies from all over the world. In the meantime, the sending of Hezbollah drones showed that the rules of the water game have changed and Hezbollah's military power has multiplied.

Hizbollah has now proved with this action that it can ensure the security of companies operating in the exclusive economic zone of Lebanon and eliminate measures that disrupt the security of the western waters of Lebanon. With this action, Hezbollah is trying to take advantage of its deterrent power in consolidating the independent sovereignty of Lebanon inside and outside the borders and against the country's first-class enemy.

Consequences of Netanyahu's election

Another point that can be investigated in the course of this agreement is the statements of various members of the cabinet of ministers and the power structure of the Zionist entity. It is acknowledged in these statements that so far, there has been no agreement with this specification in Israel regarding the current issue on the northern borders. An agreement that all parties agree with, even those who had a problem with its nature and believed that the regime could have offered fewer concessions and had a cheaper deal.

Most experts of the Zionist entity believe that this agreement has kept them away from a certain war with Hezbollah, which could have sent this regime in an unknown direction. Meanwhile, the opposition led by Netanyahu has made and continues to make statements about not following the agreement.

While Yair Lapid describes this agreement as a great achievement and in this regard, he believes that the agreement reached will strengthen the security of the Zionist entity and pour billions of euros into the regime's economy, Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that he does not consider himself obliged to implement it if he and his party gain power. Now we have to consider what will be the fate of this agreement with Netanyahu's return to power.

Opportunity or Threat?

The Lebanese, on the other hand, have celebrated the agreement reached and on the other hand, mainly opposition against Hezbollah are trying to create harm. However, it must be said that This agreement and determining the maritime boundary is of special importance for Lebanon, and it will provide significant investment opportunities for the weak economy of this country.

But on the other hand, the lack of correct estimation of the available resources and the inability of Lebanon to accelerate the process of exploration and extraction of resources, and the ever-increasing problems of Lebanon have caused the agreement and its future successes to be in an aura of uncertainty. While different political oppositions are trying to make this agreement in their name and emphasize their effective factor; Lebanon is still immersed in its problems, and it is not yet clear to what extent this agreement can help Lebanon's current situation. With the best estimation of these sources, it may be able to supply Lebanon's need for oil and gas for a limited number of years, nearly 30 years; But these sources will not make Lebanon an oil country.

It should also be noted that after more than a decade, these negotiations have always been held with the presence of the American mediator from Hof to Hochstein and it doesn't seem like the normalization of relations, which has been a middle way to prevent the destruction of Lebanese rights. Indeed, it should be noted that this level of negotiations and finally the agreement reached was thanks to Hezbollah's military strength and its active presence in the northern borders of the Zionist entity.

Therefore, despite major changes in the playing field between the two sides of this agreement, the problem of providing gas and oil for the future generations of Lebanon remains and will continue to plague this country in the coming decades. In the meantime, Lebanon should take full advantage of other areas to solve this problem. Now Lebanon should emphasize resuming the gas supply agreement through Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, especially after Hochstein's promises in this regard. America by providing some exemptions (Wavers) and financing the project through the International Monetary Fund can accelerate the process of implementing the agreement and supplying the gas and electricity needed by Lebanon.

Zeinab Chaldavi, Expert at the Center for Political and International Studies

(The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)

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